Document Type







Digital Humanities


I analyzed a collection of menus collected from around 1950s to 1960s from the Kay Shaw Nelson Papers. I decided to focus my research around a menu from the Philippines. From here, I analyzed the graphic design and word choice of the menu to come to the conclusion that it was targeted towards an American or English-speaking tourist audience. Then, I researched the history of food tourism in the Philippines and how it helped flourish the country’s economy. Although the Filipino menu from Nelson’s collection inspired the brunt of my studies, I also noticed the small amount of Asian menus compared to European menus. This transitioned my research towards why American tourists favored Europe over Asia in the 1950s: because of similar cultures, languages, better relations post-World War II, better developed hotel systems, access to transportation, and racial tension towards Asia. Noticing this aversion towards Asia, I wanted to see how this prejudice would carry onto the American culture and the publication structure. Many stories Nelson pitched surrounding Asian cuisine were denied publication. However, in the 1970s, the United States witnessed a cultural boom of embracing different cuisines. International recipes were entering mainstream media, and Americanized versions of foods from certain Asian countries, such as China and India, became prevalent across the country. However, Filipino food still has not had a huge entrance to the food scene of the states as of the 2020s.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.